The opposition Congress for Democratic Change or CDC has set pre-condition to merge with any political party, including the Liberty Party, which is pursuing merger with the CDC.
The Congress for Democratic Change has come second in two Presidential elections since 2005, while the Liberty Party came third in 2005 and fourth in 2011, respectively.
At a news conference in Monrovia Thursday, 23 July the CDC said for Liberty Party or any political party to form a merger with it, particularly wanting to take the standard bearer position such party should be to go thru county primaries in all 15 political sub-divisions of Liberia.
National Chairman Nathaniel McGill said primaries will be conducted by the National Elections Commission or NEC with funding to be provided by the two parties involve.
He indicated that primaries will allow all qualified voters throughout the country that have interest in the merger and cast their ballots for candidates of their choice to determine who should become standard bearer to go for election.
McGill confirmed that the CDC and the Liberty Party have been in merger talks but it would be very prudent for both parties to go to primaries to know each party’s numerical strength.
“Any political party especially the Liberty Party whom we have been in talk with wants sincere merger with the CDC that party should be ready for a primary throughout the country and that qualified voters can be given the opportunity to select a candidate of their choice because we want to know the numerical strength of each party. Elections is about numbers; if the Liberty Party wins those primaries we will accept the vice standard bearer position. Senator George Weah will not go as running mate to anybody until this requirement is met,” he stressed.
When the National Secretary General of the Liberty Party was contacted via mobile phone, Mr. Jacob Smith said it is inappropriate for a merger talk, which is being held behind closed doors to be discussed in public.
Although he indicated that the Liberty Party will not relent in its political discussion with the CDC, but stressed the LP will not make any official statement either to condemn or disapprove the current pre-condition, adding that Liberty Party will remain engaged with all political parties.
Both the Liberty Party and the CDC have been in serious political discussion for a possible merger ahead of the 2017 elections, but officials of the two parties are keeping the card to their chest.-Editing By Jonathan Browne